Up and run­ning

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY SARAH SCULLY

Lead­ers of Hor­sham’s new $4.4-mil­lion Kal­kee Road Chil­dren’s and Com­mu­nity Hub be­lieve the new in­te­grated model of care will have long-reach­ing ben­e­fits for both users and staff.

The hub, which com­bines health, educa­tion and sup­port ser­vices un­der one roof in Hor­sham’s north, of­fi­cially opened to the com­mu­nity yes­ter­day.

Hor­sham Ru­ral City Coun­cil’s ma­ter­nal and child health ser­vice is the first to op­er­ate out of the new build­ing.

Coun­cil hu­man ser­vices man­ager Mandi Ste­wart said the hub con­cept would pro­vide fam­i­lies with eas­ier ac­cess to ser­vices and to be more in­formed with a range of staff to ad­dress needs and con­cerns.

“For ex­am­ple, ma­ter­nal and child health nurse Jenny Bull is also the lac­ta­tion con­sul­tant,” she said.

“If she needs to, she can get one of the other girls to help some­one out while she con­sults about lac­ta­tion.

“If one of the staff needs to con­sult with an­other, it gives us more flex­i­bil­ity.”

Ms Ste­wart said the hub’s ma­ter­nal and child health nurses pro­vided an ex­cel­lent ser­vice.

“Peo­ple for­get that these nurses are triple-trained,” she said.

“They have to have a de­gree in nurs­ing, a de­gree in mid­wifery, then they have to go back and study child de­vel­op­ment.

“They also have to do an im­mu­ni­sa­tion qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

“They are re­ally qual­i­fied pro­fes­sion­als.”

Mrs Bull over­saw the first fam­ily ap­pointment in the new cen­tre yes­ter­day, wel­com­ing Hor­sham cou­ple Lisa Cur­rie and Trent John­son and their daugh­ter, Ad­de­lyn.

“Ad­de­lyn had her four-month as­sess­ment to en­sure she meets her de­vel­op­ment mile­stones,” Mrs Bull said.

“The ma­ter­nal and child health vis­its are about health pro­mo­tion and al­low us to pick up if there are any de­vel­op­men­tal de­lays.”

Mrs Bull said vis­its were more fam­ily ori­en­tated these days com­pared with sev­eral years ago.

“Once upon a time it was only the mums who came, but we get a lot more dads these days,” she said.

“The ses­sions are very in­clu­sive. We’re hop­ing to have an af­ter-hours im­mu­ni­sa­tion ses­sion once a month to al­low more fa­thers to at­tend.”

Ms Ste­wart said ad­di­tional ser­vices would move into the cen­tre in stages.

“Next week sup­ported play­group moves into the play­group room, and im­mu­ni­sa­tion and the next par­ents group come down in March,” she said.

“Part of it is about com­mis­sion­ing the build­ing, be­cause it has so many elec­tron­ics.

“We want to be able to fix ev­ery­thing as we go and make sure the sen­sors don’t let chil­dren into ar­eas they shouldn’t be, that ev­ery­thing locks and so on.”

Hor­sham Dis­trict Kinder­garten As­so­ci­a­tion will run three and four-year-old kinder­garten pro­grams, along with af­terkinder care and spe­cialty pro­grams, from the hub in term two.

“There will be lots of in­for­ma­tion com­ing out, but we’ve been a bit quiet with pub­lic­ity be­cause we didn’t want to be over­run while we were set­tling in,” Ms Ste­wart said.

“But so far, so good for the build­ing. It’s been go­ing well.”

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